Business, Economics and Jobs

US house prices rise for second month, according to S&P/Case Shiller


Home prices in major urban areas are slightly on the rise, showing an improvement in real estate sales in the United States. However, some analysts believe this only reflects the common patterns of sales rising in the spring after a slow winter, and not that real estate is actually improving.


Robyn Beck

House prices in 20 American cities rose in March from the previous month, a closely watched index showed today, boosting hopes that the country’s battered real estate market was slowly recovering.

According to Reuters, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.1 per cent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis.

It fell short of analysts' expectations of 0.2 per cent.

Homes in Phoenix saw the biggest gains, with prices rising 6.1 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The index was created by economists Karl E. Case and Robert J. Shiller and is widely considered the most reliable read on home values.

The March increase followed a month-on-month gain in February, which was the first rise in 10 months, according to the Financial Times.

On a yearly basis, property values fell 2.6 percent from the same month last year after falling 3.5 percent in February, though it was the slowest decline since December 2010, the LA Times said.

Recent data has painted a brighter picture for the recovery of the housing sector, which was devastated by the 2008 global financial crisis.

Figures released last week showed existing home sales and new home sales in the United States rose more than three percent in April. Analysts expect the trend to continue as payrolls pick up and borrowing costs remain low.

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